Evropští neevropští Evropané

Národní státy se budují na základě etnické a územní jednoty a jejich dějiny a politický vývoj jsou založeny na smyslu pro kolektivní identitu. Impéria pak vznikají ve chvíli, kdy nějaká národní skupina pokládá svou existenci uvnitř územních hranic za riskantní nebo neúčinnou a zahájí silovou expanzi, kterou obvykle doprovází rozsáhlé násilí.

Západní Evropa nalezla další cestu pro svůj rozvoj teprve po druhé světové válce, kdy hitlerismus zůstal minulostí, avšak stalinismus představoval velice přítomnou hrozbu. Západoevropští intelektuálové si uvědomili, že nacionalismus i imperialismus jsou jako přístupy k budování státu nepřijatelné a že evropská stabilita vyžaduje svazek národů, který by se mohl a měl rozšiřovat, ale nikdy by se neproměnil v impérium.

Politická elita západní Evropy si tento postoj rychle osvojila a rozhodnou měrou k němu přispělo také „euroatlantické“ politické myšlení Ameriky v kombinaci s Marshallovým plánem. Římské smlouvy spolu se založením Rady Evropy ztělesňovaly právní, hospodářský, politický – ale zejména filozofický – průlom.

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